THIS CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS.
I'm not going to analyze this film on a technical level, because it would be a waste of my time. The acting isn't great, it's "found footage", and yes, there is a ten minute scene of a man digging a hole. There you go, there's your "technical" review. What needs to be dissected is the horrifying truth the film holds. The parents of generation dotcom have lost their ability to parent. Children have far too much freedom and aren't monitored to the extent that they need to be. I've seen ten year old girls SEXTING boys in their classes. I didn't get a cell phone until the summer before high school and the only calls I was able to make were to my parents and the police. Hell, I couldn't text until my junior year of high school. Parents today don't know how to tell their children "no" and this is why so many of our kids are at risk. Children are sexualized at a very young age and when you combine that with social networking and smart phones, they're destined for destruction. This is the unfortunate truth of the way the world works and Megan is Missing helps to showcase that with the epitome of a worst case scenario.
The film follows the story of fourteen year old Megan Stewart and thirteen year old Amy Herman. The two girls live the typical life of fourteen year olds in new millennium America. The girls go out to parties they shouldn't be attending, they're popular with the boys at school, and they spend their nights getting their kicks by flirting with strangers from the Internet. I'll be honest, at that age, I did the exact same thing. Amy was abused as a child and it definitely set her on the path for self destruction. While many criticize the acting of this film. These girls did a pretty decent job showcasing the false sense of immortality that the modern teenager believes they have. A little campy at times, but not to the point where it broke me out of the film. Regardless, Megan and Amy soon meet a boy who calls himself "Josh" on the Internet and Megan makes plans to meet with him.
While anyone with any common sense would be screaming "you idiot, you never meet people you've met in online chatrooms" you need to remember something...TEENAGERS ARE MORONS. Megan seems to fulfill her plans to meet "Josh" and as the title says, she goes missing. Amy becomes ridiculously upset and sets out on a campaign to find her. Unfortunately for Amy, she finds "Josh" or rather, "Josh" finds her. The aftermath of this discovery is incredibly gruesome and grievously triggering.
Michael Goi clearly did his homework on this one. Although there are moments when it becomes a little obvious that the girls aren't actually fourteen, but if you can show me a set of parents who would sign off on their children to participate in this film (without being total stage parents), they'd probably lose their paternal rights. There were moments in this film that honestly made me turn my head and close my eyes. This film didn't scare me so much as completely break my heart. It sickens me to know that the unfortunate truth of this film, is that this actually happens. Michael Goi isn't some sadistic freak who fantasized this all up, he based his film off of seven different cases involving internet related kidnappings. The script may not be the strongest ox on the cart, but it doesn't have to be. The message of this film could be understood if the entire film was on mute.
We've gotten too comfortable on the internet and have forgotten the dangers that lurk within. Trolling has made it cool to be anonymous again and this is just presenting a watering hole filled with underage snatch with daddy issues just waiting to be picked off. That may come off as insensitive, but it's the truth. A huge issue many are having with the film is the fact Amy's parents allowed her to still use the internet and roam the streets with her camera unsupervised even after Megan's disappearance. I'd kindly like you all to revisit the case of Jessi Slaughter who even after receiving death threats from trolls on 4chan, her parents never once watched any of her asinine videos or took away her online privileges. Wanna know what got her offline? A COURT ORDER. Parents today just don't understand. They don't know how to PARENT. This film is realistic in EVERY sense of the word. Maybe it's because I'm only twenty one years old, but I see this shit every day. I always fear opening the paper because I'm awaiting the day when one of the girls I've watched grow up is under the missing persons.
Now, this film isn't without its problems. It's in no way a perfect film, but the last 22 minutes were so earth shattering, it completely overshadowed any of the film's pitfalls. The film manages to creep under your skin and shows us the events the news never talks about. It may seem a bit exploitative at times, but I honestly think that we've gotten to the point where we as a society NEED it to be. Teenagers think they're invincible and are often times never held accountable for their actions. They don't understand the risk they are putting themselves in. The film does such a good job at making me never want to talk to anyone from the internet ever again that it was even endorsed by Marc Klass, founder of the KlaasKids Foundation to prevent crimes on children, and the father of Polly Hannah Klaas who was kidnapped and murdered. This film isn't meant for everyone, and it's not a film that anyone should "enjoy". I do, however, fully stand behind the filmmaker and his message for this film.